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22 Nov 2016

China sets new rules for filmmakers

China’s LGBT filmmakers worry about new “film industry promotion law” approved this month by the National People’s Congress standing committee.

New guidelines dictate that scripts of films dealing with “significant topics” including national security, diplomacy, ethnic groups, religion and the military must be submitted to government officials in advance for approval.
Films that “propagate cult and superstition” or “promote pornography, gambling, drug abuse, violence, terror, or … teach criminal methods” are banned outright.
As the government has legally defined which topics are off limits, filmmakers will be more constrained from exploring themes deemed controversial by the government.
“Now there are laws to abide by for regulators when punishing filmmakers who are defined as violators,” LGBT filmmaker and activist Fan Popo told the Wall Street Journal. 
Mr. Fan directed the coming-out documentary film “Mama Rainbow,” which has been blocked by most video-streaming sites in China.
Although the guidelines do not mention LGBT specifically, filmmakers and activists are concerned that the laws are vague enough to allow censors free reign on what is acceptable.

New guidelines dictate that scripts of films dealing with “significant topics” including national security, diplomacy, ethnic groups, religion and the military must be submitted to government officials in advance for approval.

Films that “propagate cult and superstition” or “promote pornography, gambling, drug abuse, violence, terror, or … teach criminal methods” are banned outright.

As the government has legally defined which topics are off limits, filmmakers will be more constrained from exploring themes deemed controversial by the government.

“Now there are laws to abide by for regulators when punishing filmmakers who are defined as violators,” LGBT filmmaker and activist Fan Popo told the Wall Street Journal. 

Mr. Fan directed the coming-out documentary film “Mama Rainbow,” which has been blocked by most video-streaming sites in China.

Although the guidelines do not mention LGBT specifically, filmmakers and activists are concerned that the laws are vague enough to allow censors free reign on what is acceptable.

Reader's Comments

1. 2016-11-23 04:29  
But fan sued sapprft and found they didn't ask for a ban. You can't really continue to deal in fake fear indefinitely.

Guidance and censorship isn't a bad idea as long as it's transparent after all.
2. 2016-11-23 15:27  
[I never think that GTILad's comments are helpful to our community] These "guidelines" may chip away on the few liberties/ civil rights/ freedom of expression we all greeted joyfully and appreciated. If they turn out to be an obstacle, there will be another way.
3. 2016-11-24 04:03  
Please feel free to define "our community".

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